16 January 2019 – Head coach of the Sweden Women’s National Team, Peter Gehardsson, feels honoured to be part of the Albertina Sisulu Centenary Challenge celebrations where they will face Banyana Banyana in an international friendly match.
This is the second time the Europeans, who are ranked 9thin the world, play South Africa.
They were here last year this time and won 3-0.
At the time, both teams were in preparations to qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which they have now achieved.
Banyana Banyana and Sweden will face off on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 at the Cape Town Stadium.
Kickoff is at 19h00.
“We are ready to play this game on this very special day, I have read and I know a little bit of history of this woman and we are honoured to feaure in this match. It is also nice to be back because we had a very good time when we were here last time,” said Gehardsson.
“We had fantastic sessions last year, and now that we are back I want to say congratulations to Desiree and her staff and the South African people that the team is going to the world cup – we have been there many times before. Women’s football is growing rapidly and a lot is happening. We feel our preparatiosn for the world cup qualification was appropriate when we were here now we both have qualified for the world cup- and we have one thing in common – it is our first wordl cup. Thank You.”
Three days before (Saturday, 19 January) taking on Sweden, South Africa will go toe to toe with the Netherlands in the inaugural Winnie Mandela International Challenge.
South Africa’s head coach Desiree Ellis is also elated to have to lock horns with the top footballing nations.
“It was fantastic to play Sweden last year as it was the start of great preparations for us because preparation was key for us to be here today. Here we are again facing Sweden, another great start to our preparations for the tournaent itself. We are really grateful for all the support we have received, and it is important to put the smiles on the people of South Africa. To be playing these two games for Mama Winnie Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu, iconic women who have set the tone for us.
You know growing up as a kid you think opportunities will never come – but former president Nelson Mandela gets released and I get the opportunity to play for fo rthe national team at the age of 30, so I wll forever be grateful to the two families (Mandela and Sisulu). We gonna go out there and do our best to make the names of the families proud because they set the tone for women in this country. It’s a big year for us. We are very thankful of this opportunity to play these two giants in women’s football.
The two coaches were speaking at the launch of a parthership between the South African Football Assocation (SAFA) and the Mandela Legacy.
The event was attended by, among others, Honourable Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of International Relations who was also representing the Sisulu family, SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan, Zondwa Mandela from the Mandela Legacy as well as the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato.
It was held in the Mother City.
The aim of the two fixtures is to honour two of the greatest struggle icons to ever live in South Africa – Mama Winnie Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu.
The matches are also part of the three nations’ preparations for the the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup which kicks off in June in France.
Entry to the matches are free but fans need tickets to gain access into the stadium, and these can be collected at Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers.
Banyana Banyana Fixtures:
Saturday, 19 January 2019
SOUTH AFRICA vs NETHERLANDS
ANNUAL WINNIE MANDELA INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE
Cape Town Stadium
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
SOUTH AFRICA vs SWEDEN
ALBERTINA SISULU CENTENARY CHALLENGE
Cape Town Stadium